Following our day in Litchfield National Park, we continue south towards Katherine, passing Edith Falls on the way. Given we used all our free time in Litchfield National Park, we decide to skip Edith Falls for now and instead stop on the way back to Darwin, though there is some conjecture amongst the McAlpins about whether we are actually able to swim there... (Spoiler: We can't, so our stop on the way back is a brief photo-op and barely worth mentioning)
We arrive at Katherine Gorge late, tired, in complete darkness, and with no phone reception. To make matters worse, we find the reception desk closed with only a mobile number to call for help.... There was of course a pay phone, but we had no change.... A certain David may or may not have been slightly frustrated at this point, given the long stint of driving and the promise of a certain Mala that she had everything handled in regards to the accommodation, though after a few (dozen) laps of the caravan park and a few (dozen) swear-words, we find a pizza kiosk by the pool which (thankfully) is run by the same crew who would have been at the reception desk prior to dinner time. Crisis averted!
After a good night's sleep, we are up early for our 2-3 gorge boat tour. The weather is beautiful and the gorge is spectacular, everything we had hoped for and more, with a short walk and aboriginal art tour at the other end.
Where the boat turns around we can see the rapids of the Katherine River running over the rocks which we can't pass at this time of year. Unfortunately this means we only really get to see the first gorge, but these things can't be helped. After all the trials, tribulations and infectious diseases, we are made it here! So what's an extra gorge or 2 between friends?
As a replacement for shortened boat tour, we instead get off the boat and walk inland to the Southern Rockhole- one of the few places in Katherine Gorge where it is safe to swim.
This is a truly spectacular spot, well worth the walk in, and dare I say it- worth missing the other gorges.
After our day in the gorge, its back to Darwin where we hire electric bikes and explore the old military installations of East Point Reserve.
To finish up our trip, we head to the SummerSalt festival, where The Cat Empire is headlining. There's no better way to celebrate this epic trip than by listening to one of my all time favourite bands playing live in Darwin's Botanical Gardens.
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